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A company's procurement operations are crucial to its success. There needs to be an established purchasing method to meet the needs of all divisions. After all, a business requires a gazillion things, from basic materials to office equipment.

Workers are not permitted to initiate purchase orders independently in most organizations. Purchase requisitions are used for this purpose. Companies sometimes ask managers to submit requisitions before finalizing orders to reduce unnecessary spending, misunderstandings, and the potential for fraud.

Every purchase the company makes, from a coffee maker for the break room to a laptop for a new employee, must first be approved by the relevant division. Employees might go beyond or buy unnecessary items, harming the company's finances.

Purchase requisitions prevent this by monitoring spending and managing the procurement process from a central control point.

What is in a purchase requisition?

Purchase requisitions are a company’s internal documents created by employees when they need to purchase on the organization's behalf.

A purchase requisition is, very simply, an official order used to advise department managers or purchasing officials of a decision to make a purchase. This causes the purchasing department to initiate the purchasing procedure. The finance team will also use this document to coordinate reporting methods with the accounting department.

What is the purchase requisition process?

The purchase requisition process is a series of steps in which the manager reviews the requisition, then approves and forwards it to purchasing. Purchasing will then process your order and send it to fulfillment so that you can receive and use your product.

  • To begin, you must enter a purchase request through your company's system. Your manager or team lead may review this request before approving it; however, they can't add anything new or change prices on this form.
  • Once they've reviewed it and approved it, they'll forward all relevant information (including any edits) to purchasing, where a requisition specialist will pre-approve all items based on price breaks and availability.
  • After pre-approval, procurement specialists begin processing orders by searching for vendors who meet those requirements for each item listed on each requisition before placing an order with these vendors directly via email or fax.
  • When orders are processed through these channels successfully without error messages from either party involved after three days have passed since being placed; shipping notifications go out via email, followed up with phone calls.
  • When orders are shipped from a warehouse, they're done in batches which can take anywhere from one day up to three, depending on the number of items ordered.

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Who prepares purchase requisitions?

All employees can prepare a purchase requisition. However, it is essential for staff members to understand the purchasing process and follow procedures when preparing a purchase requisition. This will ensure that their requisitions are submitted timely.

It is also crucial for every employee to be aware of their organization's purchasing policy. The purchasing policy outlines how purchasing will be handled within your company and provides direction on best practices regarding procurement activities such as sourcing materials from suppliers, awarding contracts for services or goods, making payments to vendors based on invoices received, etc.

What is the main purpose of a purchase requisition?

A purchase requisition is vital for optimizing spending and streamlining expense procedures. There are many reasons why companies should adopt the purchase requisition process into their procurement procedures. Let’s look at some reasons in detail:

Streamline purchase procedures.

Purchase requisition helps organizations streamline the purchase order process.

With the purchase requisition process, businesses can gain real-time visibility into spending and control expenses. Using purchase requisition forces employees to follow a procedure to raise a request. Listing out all the information and sending it to the purchase managers helps organizations route all purchase orders through one team.

Organizations streamline this process further by using purchase requisition automation workflows. If you don't centralize your purchases, then there is no way for you to know exactly how much money each department spends on supplies throughout the year. Reducing Purchase Fraud

A purchase requisition is a formal document used by the buyer to request goods or services from the buyer. It is a legal document that protects both parties from fraud.

For example, suppose the seller doesn’t provide what was requested at all or does not provide what is requested in an acceptable manner (the product shipped has defects). In that case, the buyer can sue for damages and still be able to receive their money back from their bank account, and the document can act as proof.

Better Communication

Communication is one of the most important aspects of a successful procurement process.

Purchase requisitions are the primary communication between vendors and suppliers, ensuring that both parties clearly understand what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how much it will cost.

The same goes for communication within your company: purchase requisitions ensure every department knows its responsibilities in getting a product or service purchased and delivered on time without any snags or setbacks.

Avoid Duplicate Orders

A purchase requisition can prevent duplicate orders. Using a proper automated workflow, before the purchase requisition form pass for approvals, you can add checks to determine whether there is any duplicate form in the system.

Preparing an Audit Trail

Creating purchase requisitions can help your organization keep track of all purchases. These documents can come in handy in case of audits or any other legal checks.

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Purchase Requisition Process Steps

The steps involved in the purchase requisition process might vary depending on company policies but let’s take a look at the basic outline of the process.

Purchase Requisition Form Submission

The employee fills out and submits the purchase requisition form for approval after thorough research on the buying requirements. The employee is responsible for including all the information in the submitted requisition, making the approval process more accessible.

Approvals - Manager & purchasing department

After submission, the purchase requisition form goes for approval. First, the head of the department/manager approves the purchase, which adds weight to the purchase request.

After the manager, the purchase requisition is sent to the purchasing department. The folks at purchasing department check inventory to ensure the legitimacy of the purchase request. After checking for all the information, duplicates, and other compliance checks, the purchasing department approves the purchase requisition.

Purchase Order Created

A purchase order is an official document that states your intent to buy or sell a product or service.

Once all the checks are complete, the purchase requisition document converts into a purchase order which is then sent to the supplier/vendor.

Purchase process

Once the purchase order is passed on to the vendor, the vendor should deliver the product within the agreed-upon time frame, so it is vital to check whether they have been delivered on time. It is also important to check whether there are any defects or damage concerning the quantity and quality of your products.

The vendor provides receipts and invoices after the delivery of items.

Invoice Clearing

Once the delivery is complete; the vendor sends an invoice.

Your company will perform a 3-way match to match purchase orders, receipts, and invoices to ensure there is no mistake.

Once this is done, the next step is to pay the vendor.

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Limitations of the manual purchase requisition process

Most purchase requisitions are still handled manually, with paper, email, and spreadsheets. This leads to wastage of resources through ineffective or nonexistent policies, noncompliance, and unnecessary delays.

Some of the limitations of manual purchase requisition are

Complex Approval Process

The approval procedure of purchase requisition is complex, lengthy, and tedious. The manual purchase requisition process entails checking and cross-checking documents before approving or rejecting the purchase requisition, which takes up a lot of time.

For example, you need to check the company’s credit card policy, invoice terms and conditions, and customer terms and conditions.

Minimal compliance

There are no checks in the manual requisition process. The manager or purchasing department can’t keep track of every purchase requisition because there is no single platform to view them. In such a scenario, ensuring compliance across the organization becomes difficult.

Susceptible to document loss and mistakes

Manual purchase requisitions are susceptible to document loss and mistakes. The paper purchase requisition forms go through many stops, some of which can slip out of the flow due to mishandling, errors, incorrect filing, and more.

Also, the possibility of error is high in manual processes. Even when you do spot the item and add it as an exception, there's no way for other users to know about it without double-checking each request against the master list (which isn't always accessible).

This leads to extra work for everyone involved in approving purchases—and increases the risk that something will slip through the cracks.

Limited visibility

When you don't have a system to track your expenses, it's hard to know what's happening. This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings between team members and management. For example, how will you know if someone has already approved an item but hasn't approved the amount?

In addition, people may not understand why a purchase request was denied or what happened with their requisition once it was submitted. This can lead to confusion about which items are purchased and which haven't—which leads to the more unnecessary back-and-forth between departments when they need additional information or clarification about something that has been purchased previously but hasn't arrived yet (or vice versa).

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How to automate your purchase requisition process using workflows?

A purchase requisition workflow can help you digitize and automate the purchase requisition process. Let’s take a look at how you can use Nanonets for purchase requisition automation with automated workflows.

Map out the process

The first step in automating your purchase requisition workflow is to map out the process. This includes identifying each step in your approach and determining how long it takes for employees to complete each task.

For example, if you have a simple purchase requisition workflow that includes a single approval step, then mapping out this part of the process may take only 5 minutes. But, if you have multiple approval steps that include approvals from different departments or managers within your organization (such as finance and legal). In that case, mapping out this part of your workflow becomes more important!

Once you've identified all the steps in your existing process, determine whether there are any unnecessary steps or inefficient workflows that can be streamlined or automated. You may also want to consider adding additional steps into your existing process if there are areas where additional information would be helpful for stakeholders involved with approving purchases.

Select a purchase requisition form format.

Create a digital form to collect the purchase requisition details from the employees requesting it. You can use Google Docs or Word to create a template and ask your employees to send it over email for the next step.

Enter Nanonets Workflows

Open Nanonets platform. (Create a free account if you haven’t already!)

Train a custom OCR model by uploading 10 sample documents of your purchase requisition form.

Once the OCR model works as per your requirement, you can move to the workflow section to set up the next automation.

Automate Document Import

You can receive files from Email, API, Google Drive, Zapier, OneDrive, and more.

Ask your employees to send the purchase requisition form to the particular data source. NAnonets will automatically pick up the documents for the next step.

Set the first set of checks.

As soon as the document gets in, it will go through the OCR model to extract text. At this point, you can use the data enhancement options to ensure all your data is in a proper format.

Other than that, you can also add rule-based checking points, like whether a particular item code is mentioned or if the quantity is missing. Flagged documents will be sent to the employee back to review and refill.

Set up approval workflows

Once the document is checked, you can all the stakeholders that need to read and approve the document. Only when all the approvals are received, the documents will proceed to the next step

Send it off to the next stage.

After the approvals, the documents can pass on to the next step, where a digital purchase order will be created.

With this basic workflow, you can handle all the purchase requisition requirements.

Publish, integrate, and measure

After you have completed the steps above, you should be able to publish, integrate, and measure the success of your new purchase requisition process.

Measure how well your workflow’s performance is and use this data to improve the user experience through design and development iterations.

Get started with Nanonets' pre-trained purchase order models. You can also schedule a demo to get a free product tour!


Various departments in every company occasionally require resources, from standard office supplies to raw materials, machinery, and services. Although purchasing is a common practice, how an organization handles it varies. For example, direct ordering from suppliers by departmental or line managers inside an organization might result in higher costs and increased expense fraud.

For this reason, many businesses require a streamlined purchase requisition process with clearly defined approval procedures.


What is the difference between PO and PR?

Purchase Requisition

Purchase Order

A purchase requisition is an internal document that an employee creates to seek the acquisition of products or services from an external vendor. Once the department manager has accepted the document, the finance department, and three-way matching, a purchase order can be used to acquire products or services.

The purchase order, sometimes referred to as a PO, is an external document documenting the specifics of an actual transaction. Once a purchase request is accepted, the purchasing department produces the purchase order. Other personnel may fill out purchase orders for approval if a company doesn't utilize purchase requisitions.

Purchase requisitions include the information needed before making a purchase, should one be authorized, including

  • Product specifics and volume

  • Name of the seller 

  • Cost

  • Name and division of the buyer

POs contain all the information required by both your firm to record the transaction and the vendor to complete the order:

  • Name of your organization

  • Name of the contractor who placed the order

  • Date of the founding of PO

  • Amount and cost of the items

  • Terms of payment

  • Signatures of all parties involved

All employees can prepare a purchase requisition. However, it is essential for staff members to understand the purchasing process and follow procedures when preparing a purchase requisition.

After a purchase requisition is granted, the purchasing department issues a purchase order. Any staff member can submit a purchase order for management review without purchase requisitions.

Automate purchasing processes with Nanonets' automated workflow. Set up workflows in 15 minutes!

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